A very private person has made a huge splash and left a lasting legacy after bestowing $6 million to the St. John’s Anglican Church in Truro.
The news of Helen White's bequest became public in a letter from church officials to the congregation inserted in Sunday's bulletin.
“She was very astute in business and was very careful with money," said Helen Barnhill, a Belmont, Colchester County resident who is White's cousin. “She was very, very fond of the Anglican church. She loved the church."
The $6 million is to be halved into two funds that will be used for upkeep and maintenance of the Terrace Hill Cemetery on Kaulback Street in Truro and the St. John's parish building. The church is only allowed to spend the interest from the funds.
The news of the donation quickly spread through the community.
"It's often been said there's a lot of old money in Truro and I guess that has been proven today," said Mayor Bill Mills. "Obviously, this is an incredible gift and certainly one that showed the lady's heart was with the church."
White grew up in Tracadie and helped her parents run a general store and gas station. After the family sold the business they moved to Truro. She married Alfred George White and moved to Alma, Pictou Co. before later moving back to town following his death. They had no children.